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Fob Watches

Watch fobs, which in their most basic form consist of a small chain that attaches to the watch to make it easier to grasp, came into popularity around the 18th century. Pocket watch wearers became frustrated with the only prior option: a pocket. At the time, men’s waistcoats were designed with a special exterior pocket to house ones pocket watch, but many wanted their timepiece to be more secure.

Soon after, fine metal chains in gold and silver began appearing, artfully attaching the pocket watch to a button lapel. As an added adornment, some paid for extensions, featuring anything from hallmarked silver seals to dazzling dangles that swung from the fob’s lapel attachment.

The fob was thus transformed into an artful statement of elegance that was otherwise utilitarian in nature, saving an entire generation’s pocket watches from precarious falls while adding a bit of luxury to their outfits.


Quick Facts

  • Some women during the Victorian era created fobs that held a lock of their hair, serving as a memento for their husbands to wear daily
  • The use of fob to describe a pocket watch accompaniment began in the 17th century, and its name was most likely derived from the old German colloquial “fuppe,” which referred to a pocket
  • Watch fobs could also be a means of commemorating historic events. In early 2015, a rare “Last Spike” gold fob was auctioned off, one of only a handful that were made to memorialize the completion of the transcontinental railroad in the late 1860s

Recommended Items at Auction

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A Victorian silver cased ladies open faced fob watch
Mar 08, 10:00 AM GMT
A Victorian silver cased ladies open faced fob watch
by Martel Maides
Est: £30- £40
£252 Bids
A 14ct gold cased fob watch
Mar 08, 10:00 AM GMT
A 14ct gold cased fob watch
by Martel Maides
Est: £120- £200
£1001 Bid
Taschenuhren-Knebelkette - 14K Gelbgold, gestempel…
Mar 16, 10:00 AM CET
Taschenuhren-Knebelkette - 14K Gelbgold, gestempel…
by Auktionshaus Blank
Est: €850- €2,550
€8500 Bids
Taschenuhrenschlüssel - um 1870, 18K Gelbgold, Inn…
Mar 16, 10:00 AM CET
Taschenuhrenschlüssel - um 1870, 18K Gelbgold, Inn…
by Auktionshaus Blank
Est: €120- €360
€1200 Bids
Taschenuhren-Knebelkette - 14K Gelbgold (585/000),…
Mar 16, 10:00 AM CET
Taschenuhren-Knebelkette - 14K Gelbgold (585/000),…
by Auktionshaus Blank
Est: €850- €2,550
€8500 Bids
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BOUCHERON: DIAMOND-SET FOB WATCH, CIRCA 1900
Mar 06, 11:00 AM GMT
BOUCHERON: DIAMOND-SET FOB WATCH, CIRCA 1900
by Bonhams
Est: £1,500- £2,000
£1,5000 Bids
HENRY CAPT, GENEVEA SWISS GOLD, DIAMOND AND ENAMEL LADY'S KEYLESS WIND FOB WATCH
Mar 07, 10:30 AM GMT
HENRY CAPT, GENEVEA SWISS GOLD, DIAMOND AND ENAMEL LADY'S KEYLESS WIND FOB WATCH
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £800- £1,200
£7000 Bids
A collection of silver cased ladies open faced fob watches
Mar 08, 10:00 AM GMT
A collection of silver cased ladies open faced fob watches
by Martel Maides
Est: £300- £400
£2400 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Fob Watches


Roseberys

Roseberys

Auktionshaus  Blank

Auktionshaus Blank

Martel Maides

Martel Maides

Ripley Auctions

Ripley Auctions